How can 4th section bands be attracted back into the Areas?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Beesa, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    I didn't want to clog up the debate in the NW Area thread but this is a general query anyway.

    It is interesting to note that although 25 bands were entered in the NW 4th section, there are 31 listed in the back of the programme for the gradings. So 6 bands have entered in the past 2 contests but did not enter 2011.

    The 4th Section is healthy in the NW anyway, but that is not the case in all other areas, with some showing a marked decline in numbers over the past few years, especially Wales and Scotland.

    Although I have a few thoughts I wonder does anybody have ideas on how to attract bands back into their Regional Championships?
  2. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    I'm considering not taking my band again. The adjudication remarks were ridiculous. It said my band were out of tune the whole way through the piece, my principle cornet player was hesitant in the 2nd mov. My solo horn was shaky, we had an unconvincing ending and blasted our way through the whole piece.Add to this we know it was'nt perfect - it was good though. There were two absolutely gaping mistakes from one of our percussionists( yes I have removed his sexual organs) and it was'nt even picked up on. One was a siren going off in the middle of a general pause - how do you miss that? I don't even think they were our remarks.If this adjudicator is used for any contest we enter , I will withdraw the band. So, rant on you might say - well go to our website and listen to our performance, yes not perfect, but not the insult we got on the remarks. This Beesa is why bands don't come back sometimes.
  3. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    Exactly the same with our remarks. We have written in to Peter Bates already. Please make sure you do the same, this to some people will be sour grapes, but if you read my post on the NW area thread you will see it is not.
    Every band needs to write in if they have an issue, otherwise nothing will change, and for those that don't write in they cannot complain.

    Not sure if we will be entering next year.
  4. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    A number of reasons, expense, distance, enough players etc being the most popular I feel.

    The 4th section is very competitve, if you are not good enough or know your aren't going to get a result, whats the point in going? It lowers morale amongst the band, when really I think time should be spent rebuilding the band. I've seen bands that go to the area that aren't ready, what are they proving? Nothing to me, just my view...
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I was convinced we got another band's remarks for Montage at blackpool in '05. Because they praised us where we were rubbish, and criticised us for things we got right. The solo horn absolutely mullered a few bars in the middle movement, and even apologised to us for it afterward. No remark. The final section with the running bass quavers underneath went perfectly, and we got slated for unsteady rhythms, and 'basses getting across each other' which simply did not happen. There were a dozen other examples like this too.

    Having talked to one of the percussionists at City of Bradford, he's fairly sure that this happened to them at butlins as well, because their remarks said 'timp incorrect entry' twice but he and the conductor are both adamant he didn't make any incorrect entries. However, listening backstage, the band in front of them did, and it's likely no coincidence that there were two of them.

    It might be worth writing to my own regional comittee to check what processes are in place to prevent this happening.....
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  6. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    You write to Peter Bates ( ) and your letter will be discussed at their AGM. As I have said earlier you ALL must write in if you really want this to change/stop, or for something to be done about it. We have already written in.
  7. whitewitch

    whitewitch Member

    in this modern age of technology, why can't each contest be recorded and referred back to, if there are so many discrepancies. it is only fair.

    or would that show too many people up as incompetant.

    dobcross youth now have a number 21 in their promotion slot this year.....which will be hard to get over, no matter what they get next year. it must be very disheartening for kids too, who were competing against adults in the main.

    surely....even if decisions cannot be reversed, if a band is shown to be so far placed out of where they should be, they could be awarded the 'average' mark.

    if it isn't important to place a band exactly where they should be, then the contest is a farce too, which means people won't want to go.

    as for adjudicators remarks, my band (uppermill) received completely different remarks at butlins from the TWO adjudictors that were present. you would think at least, if they were sitting side by side they could say the same thing, or not get someone else's remarks mixed up with ours!!!
  8. backrow

    backrow New Member

    whats your website address please John
  9. james72

    james72 New Member

    I did manage to watch uppermill at the area and thought other than morcombe played the best out of all I heard, and with a 5th place thought you were hard done by and should have been placed in the top 3

    As for dobcross youth, which I also listen to with a few other bands, I thought no way that the band should of come 21st with the performance they did for a youth band and to play better than some of the 4th section bands were brilliant. 2 of the bands I heard not naming them, but thought they were well under the perfomance that dobcross played and they came 1 in the top 10 and another just missing the top 10. I was bewilldered to see the result.

    Well done to both bands on what I thought were two strong performances.
  10. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

  11. whitewitch

    whitewitch Member

    I appreciate your comments james72. :biggrin: i thought uppermill were excellent too but did not hear morcambe, which is a pity. we were quite happy with 5th because we had only just gone into that section last month. of course it would have been nice to get in the top three. it was a piece, in places, open to interpretation so you never know what the guy wants sitting in the box. :)
  12. Spaniels Ears

    Spaniels Ears Member

    Simples........a good start would be putting 2 in the box!
  13. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    Say what you like about adjudicators (one or two), strange results happen in all sections, will we ever be rid of them? No, of course not.

    How do we attract more 4th section bands in? It is common to most regions that there are at least another 50% of bands that compete at 2 or 3 contests a year but only seem to go to the area once in a blue moon (if at all).

    Here's some proposals...

    No registration. Let the band play who they like as long as they are not competing anywhere else in the country. Not as hard to enforce as you'd think, all players sign a declaration that they are only competing with that band. If evidence is found to the contrary, the band is disqualified from the results.

    No 3-year grading. Make it top 2 (or 3) get promoted, simple as that. This would mean band's would still attend with confidence the year after an unexplainable 21st or 22nd placing.

    Own Choice Test-Piece. No excuses about not liking/not be able to play the piece

    Always at the start of the day. I couldn't believe what I was reading with regard to Harrogate, 4th Sections going on late in to the evening?. I know school aged players can be found at all levels but let's face it, the vast majority are in the 4th Section, what on earth's going on if they're taking to the stage at 10.30 at night (with school the next day!!) and then hours back on the coach.
  14. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    Absolutely Paddy some brilliant suggestions - on top of this I would like copies of the remarks available to all bands for scrutiny if they think there's been a mistake made. I don't mean routinely though, just if people think there might have been a mistake.
    I would'nt mind seeing the judges face either when I turn and bow to the audience
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2011
  15. ... or not even in a box. Get them out in the open. It's such an archaic system we run. It's the 21st Century for gods sake.
  16. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    It's not the first time there's been question raised over whether the adjudicator's been marking the right band. How about an official handing them the remarks sheet with the correct number of the band before EACH band plays.

    Open adjudication? Won't stop strange results from happening, only now people will be trying to connect the judges to the band ("What do you expect, they sacked his brother" or "I'm sure him and their conductor were in the same guards regiment")
  17. fatcontroler

    fatcontroler Member

    some of what you mentioned I dont agree with, but i do with this.

    in the lower sections, a bands fortunes can change widely over a year, and some have a high turnover of players.

    Look at Hazel Grove - 2 years ago they came last in NW 4th section.
    Last year they won that and the Nationals.
    If they didnt win the nationals they would surely have been stuck in 4th section for another 2 years whilst the last place points were discarded.

    This would have been bad for their band in keeping players when they know they are stuck in 4th section and also for the other bands competing with what is obviously a very good band that does not deserve to be in the section.

    All it would have took was for the adjudicator at the nationals to favour one other band and this could have happened
  18. Hornted

    Hornted Member

    4th Section

    May be better test piece selection would help-
  19. euphalogy

    euphalogy Member

    We seem to be missing the purpose of competition here i think. Test pieces (i hope) are selected in the lower section to "test" the varying levels of required competence within the band, and to give MDs and players the opportunity to demonstrate the band' strengths and also identify their current weaknesses. I believe this is best served by a set work, where everybody has the same challenges throughout the test.
    The regional CD serves no useful purpose (other than a commercial one) in the preparation of a bands performance, as i find it particularly frustrating preventing well meaning individuals from "mimicking" what is heard on the disc.
    My band finished second last in 2009, 2nd last year with the same players more or less, a 16th place at harrogate (4barsrest predicted 2nd on the day) and we have to take it on the chin.
    Sometimes we need to "unlearn" what we know in order to learn what is required to compete in the 4th section. There are crash bang wallop bands who excell on the loud and fast, there are the quiet refined bands that likewise shine on the more subtle. The purpose is to progress bands up the ladder whose competence is comensurate with the requirements at the next level.
    It is the only competition where bands are not permitted to borrow anybody, and as such gives a true and accurate reflection of the state of the band. 3,4, or even 5 borrowed players at some events gives a completely distorted view.

    Happy Banding
  20. MattB

    MattB Member

    Purely my own personal views here, but I do not understand why in the current climate of bands struggling for players the organisers persist with the 3 year average gradings. In many bands cases (as has already been mentioned), the turnover of players can be so much that the previous two years simply don't apply to the majority of players on the stand that year. Of this I do have experience!

    I know of no other competition in the world where with a ranking system, if you are in the top two, you don't automatically move up to the next level!! That's not to say other systems don't exist btw, before the replies fly in!

    Bands need to be judged on their performances on THE DAY, not what they did years ago to get an average. How much more exciting would it make at both ends of the table with a straight up/down system? Now every band can have a bad year, and a few may find themselves falling through the trapdoor, but by god it would spur you on to prove yourselves the year after.

    You may note I haven't mentioned adjudication yet, as this is extensively discussed elsewhere and until someone comes up with a definitive, foolproof system or as has been suggested technology lends a hand, we will have to accept the current method. Whilst bands keep on putting themselves forward to be judged there are always going to be those who are happy, indifferent, and upset. Is that not life?